This week on “The Bachelorette,” Emily and her eight remaining suitors jetted from London to Dubrovnik, Croatia – a quaint, cobblestone-covered city whose charms put Emily in the mood for love. Her men were equally eager to ramp up the romance, especially as it was Emily’s first week without her daughter Ricki in tow. Emily went into the episode admitting that she’s still clueless about some of her connections, but excited to dig deeper.
Date # 1 – Travis Gets Friend-Zoned
Travis was chosen for the week’s first one-on-one date, saving him from continued exasperation about his lack of private time with Emily. He also had a daunting task ahead of him: overcome his awkward first impression as the guy who brought an ostrich egg named Shelly to the show, representative of his relationship with the Bachelorette. Travis’ chemistry with Emily was painfully lacking, despite their common Southern roots and his fervent desire to “bust out of the friend zone.” Emily’s eyes grew wide in alarm when he revealed over a candlelit dinner that he hasn’t dated since his failed engagement – two long years ago. He oozed sincerity and sweetness, and actually licked his lips when Emily picked up the rose. Alas, the puppy-dog eyes weren’t enough to save him, and she sent him straight home.
Date # 2 – Benevolence Over Brawn
The second date of the week consisted of every suitor but Ryan – which made Ryan the de-facto recipient of the coveted second one-one-date. The other men, disgruntled and resentful, attended a preview screening of the Pixar movie “Brave” with Emily in an otherwise empty theater. Emily brought the Scottish “Brave” theme along for the second part of the date, and the men were tasked with competing in their own version of the Highland Games (despite being nowhere near Scotland). The men donned kilts (or skirts, as they referred to them) and rode donkeys into the mock battle. Chris failed completely at all of the three tasks – archery, log throwing, and tug-of-war with a stick. He was comically appalling, but had such a great attitude about it that Emily awarded him the Bravery Prize at the end of the competition, along with some private time and a few kisses. The rest of the men became even more miffed, especially athletic Sean, who had won both the log throwing and stick-tugging competitions. But Emily stuck firm to her decision to award good behavior over physical prowess. “I don’t care about big muscles,” she insisted.
On the dinner portion of the date, Emily singled out each of the men for a conversation – and made sure to personally soothe Sean’s hurt feelings. Arie pulled her aside to apologize for the controversy over Kalon last week, and Emily rewarded him with a sexy kiss. Jef, whose strong feelings for Emily seem genuine, told her “You give me the type of feeling people write novels about.” She seemed appreciative, but also chided him for taking so long to kiss her. This woman is not shy about locking lips.
Bravery Prize-winner Chris came on strong once he got Emily alone, and the words “love” and “forever” were flying thick and fast. Emily was into it, and awarded him the date’s rose, telling him, “You are one of the kindest, sweetest, handsomest men I’ve ever met.” Never has failing at athletics gotten a man so far.
Date # 3 – Everybody Hates Ryan
All of Emily’s suitors were unified in their hatred of Ryan – a muscled, manipulative personal trainer who spends more time preparing for a date than all of them combined. Emily also had serious doubts about him, and it wasn’t hard to see why – the guy is conceited, possessive, and entirely fixated on making Emily his “trophy.” Nevertheless, she seemed to be enjoying most of their road trip together, and called him “playful” and “funny.”
Despite his self-proclaimed aptitude at seducing women, Ryan kept striking out with Emily by bringing up his desire for a “trophy wife.” He made her uncomfortable again by pulling out a list of qualities that he wants in a partner, most of which had to do with submission or physical appearance, and one of which was actually “a servant.” Emily finally told him that she wouldn’t be giving him a rose because she doesn’t want to fit into somebody’s mold, but astoundingly, she was wavering on the decision. Ryan sniffed out her hesitation and tried to get her to change her mind in a calculating, controlling, and frankly frightening way. Thankfully, Emily stuck to her guns and sent him home – but unfortunately, blamed the decision on her own insecurities instead of properly kicking him to the curb.
The men back at the house rejoiced to see Ryan’s bag get collected, and Arie took the opportunity to sneak out of the house and into Emily’s bed, where he cuddled with her and told her that he was proud of her judgment. He left her room reeling with emotion. “I am definitely in love,” he said.
The Cocktail Party – Oh, Happy Day
With unusual frankness, Emily kicked off the cocktail party by admitting to the cameras that John and Doug, both quiet types who haven’t gotten a lot of airtime, were on her mental chopping block. In last-ditch efforts to win her heart, both of the baleful bachelors managed to change her mind with touching emotional appeals. John tearfully told Emily about his deceased grandparents, who had had a “great love,” and Doug opened up about being shy.
After passing out all but the last rose, Emily dissolved into uncertainty and fled the room, seeking out Chris Harrison and pouring out her heart to him. She relinquished her final rose to him and returned to the cocktail party, and it looked like she was going to eliminate both Doug and John – until Chris Harrison returned, with two roses on a platter! Both Doug and John get to stay another week, and there were good feelings all around. Except for Travis and Ryan, of course.
Next week, Emily will take her men to Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The preview reveals a whole lot of kissing and one suspenseful scandal – will Arie’s exposed relationship with a Bachelorette producer get him sent home?